Windows shattered in downtown Portland Rittenhouse in protest
Portland, ore. — Portland law enforcement declared a riot Friday night as about 200 protesters protested the acquittal of a teen who killed two people and wounded another in Wisconsin.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office reported that protesters were smashing windows, throwing objects at police, and reported burning down a local government building in downtown Portland, KOIN TV reported, but the crowd dispersed around 11 p.m. The police office said, but only one person was arrested who had a warrant pending from another matter.
Protesters gathered after Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse killed two people and wounded another during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin last year.
Protests broke out in several other US cities across the country over the ruling, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
About 1,000 people demonstrated in downtown Chicago on Saturday afternoon, organized by Black Lives Matter Chicago and other local activist groups. According to the Chicago Tribune, protesters carried signs that read “Stop White Supremacy” and “We are hitting the streets to protest this system of racial justice” with a picture of Rittenhouse holding a gun.
Tanya Watkins, executive director of Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, spoke at a rally at Federal Plaza ahead of the rally, according to the Tribune newspaper.
“While I am not surprised by yesterday’s ruling, I am tired. I am disappointed. I am angry. I have lost every shred of my faith in this system of justice,” said Watkins, who is black.
In North Carolina, dozens of people gathered Saturday near the state capitol to protest the ruling, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The speakers led the crowd of nearly 75 people chanting “No justice, no peace!” and “Abolish the police!” Police officers on motorbikes escorted the protesters and stopped traffic for them as they walked down a street in front of bars and restaurants.
After the murder of George Floyd last year by police in Minneapolis, there has been an ongoing, often violent protest in Portland. Some activists complained that the police were harsh in their response. Shortly after Rittenhouse’s ruling, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said officers were working on plans Friday night and weekend.
By 8:50 p.m., about 200 protesters had gathered in downtown Portland and had blocked off the streets. By 9 pm, windows were shattered and doors to city facilities were damaged.
Police tweeted: “A crowd gathered near SE 2nd Avenue and SE Madison Street and participants began breaking windows and damaging doors to city facilities in the area. People are throwing objects at police officers in the area.”
Describing the event as a riot, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release early Saturday morning that some protesters threw urine, water bottles and batteries at deputies.
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